The name comes from the
French version of Michael, ie. Michel, and was most likely brought to Scotland by the
Normans. Sir Andrew Mitchell (1708-71), parliamentarian and diplomat, was born in
Edinburgh. Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell (1757-1806), commander-in-chief of the North
American station 1802-05, was the second son of Charles Mitchell of Baldridge,
Dunfermline. Major-General John Mitchell (1785-1859) was born in Stirlingshire. Sir Thomas
Mitchell (1792-1855), Australian explorer, was the son of John Mitchell of Craigend,
Stirlingshire. Harold Mitchell (1900-83), of Tulliallan, Fife, and Luscar, Alberta,
descended from William Mitchell (1781-1854), who was co-founder of the Alloa Coal Co., and
was created a baronet in 1945.
MITCHELL: Derived from the Hebrew name Michael, meaning 'who is like God,' its introduction to Scotland was probably through early French influence for the survival of the surname has been due to the popularity of Michael and Michell as a forename. MacMichael (son of Michael) is the source of many Scottish Mitchells, and the Lanarkshire territorial name of Carmichael is often given as an alternative rendering. Mi(t)chelson and Michie are derivative forms found in certain parts of Scotland, the latter mainly in the north-east. The 't' appears intrusive, for in most of earliest records, such does not appear. It has been ascertained that there was a considerable number of the name in Ayrshire and Galloway, and in the latter and Orkney it was often used as a forename. Of the Stirlingshire family of Mitchell of Craigends, John (who died 1711), left a son Alexander who recorded arms in 1719 as 'Mitchell of Mitchell', and his son by the heiress of Livingstone of Parkhall assumed his mother's surname and followed in that inheritance. Sir Thomas Livingston Mitchell was a scion of this family and gained distinction as an explorer and surveyor in Australia, being knighted for his services in 1839. The Mitchells of Arrachymore in the Lennox in 1778 selected a burial place the envy of many - on the Isle of Inchcailleach on Loch Lomond. The Mitchell-Inneses of Stow, and Mitchells of the East and North-East, have been judged a Clan Innes sept following their marriage into the Inneses of Rora. This has been confirmed by the late Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, Lord Lyon King of Arms, and their wearing of Innes tartan has been approved. The Mitchell tartan is also named 'Galbraith' and 'Russell' and until recently, 'Hunter', but the reason remains obscure for there is no genealogical connection. Though many families of consequence have borne the name none are presently recognised in the chiefship and, apart from the Innes affiliation, there is little record of association with other clans/families. A claim that some associated with Stewarts of Appin and Galloway cannot be verified - though some MacMichaels were followers of the Earls of Galloway. As the name is widespread, genealogical or geographical evidence would be required to define one's roots or affiliations. Many descendants of Scots emigrants in Norway are 'Mitzels'.
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